A row of ordinary-looking tools lies underneath the back of a Lamborghini Miura SV Bertone Coupe, on show at the Concours d'Elegance automobile show at California’s Pebble Beach.
Do not let the simplicity of the equipment fool you about the sophistication of the vehicles showcased at this annual event, whose attendees include wealthy car lovers, industry leaders and celebrities.
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"I was going to be within inches of rare, concept and production cars worth millions of dollars."
When I usually don cameras to shoot on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach it’s to cover arguably one of the best finishing holes in golf. I always remember: stay an arm’s length within the ropes, work as silently as possible and don’t distract the golfers.
Instead, on August 18 I weaved my way along this hallowed stretch of coastline and into the colourful automotive celebration that is the Concours d’Elegance. Founded in 1950, it is an annual charitable event showcasing rare automobiles, competing in their class and for Best of Show.
The Pebble Beach Concours, which concludes a week of car-related festivities – much of it business related – attracts some of the world’s wealthiest car enthusiasts, industry leaders, and celebrities.
The week consists of five auctions, eight concours and exhibitions, as well as three days of racing, concept car unveilings and manufacturer displays, all culminating on Sunday on the shores of the foggy Pacific.
I had a top priority knowing that I was going to be within inches of rare, concept and production cars worth millions of dollars: do not accidentally bump into any of them. I very deliberately minded my gear, many times taking off bags and extra cameras before leaning over to shoot these ultra expensive machines. I’m happy to report I didn’t leave a single scuff or scratch.
I attended four of the week’s events: The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering; the Concours d’LeMons; Gooding and Company’s auction preview; and finally Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours.
I photographed cars including a Voisin Biscooter, a 1926 Bugatti race car and Lamborghini’s $4 million Veneno supercar. Finally, I took pictures of the Concours’ Best of Show winner, an immaculate 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, owned by Joseph Cassini of New Jersey.
Mr Cassini was such a gracious and photogenic winner, along with his daughter Caroline and wife Margie, all dressed impeccably in period clothing.
So if you want to experience this impressive automotive gala for yourself, restore that vintage car you may have sitting in your garage or simply start planning to attend in 2014. You won’t be disappointed.